Warning: Slight spoiler ahead if you haven't seen the movie The Last Kiss.
Often after a night at the movies, I end up analyzing how unhealthy Hollywood's version of a romantic relationship is. I especially hate the idea that a woman needs a man to "be complete," as if no woman could ever be a whole person on her own.
The movie we saw last night, The Last Kiss, avoided many of the romantic conventions that I so detest. It was certainly more realistic than the cheesy movie with a happy ending that usually falls into the romantic comedy genre. The characters seemed like real people, with real life problems – and completely dysfunctional ways of handling them. And they certainly did avoid the happy ending.
In the end, the main character, who has spent most of the movie sabotaging the relationship he is in, ends up lying for days on the doorstep of the woman he says he loves. She walks over him as she leaves for work, refusing even to talk to him. At one point, she takes pity on him and throws him a sandwich before storming past. When he shivers in the cold, she tosses him a blanket, which he clutches gratefully. The character is played by Zach Braff, and even though he's been a moody, immature jerk for most of the movie, he is still somehow likeable enough that he gets our sympathy. He lies pitifully on the front porch, a broken man, while the woman steps over him again and again.
I am not sure what to make of a romantic comedy in which the main character is counseled by an older male therapist to "do whatever it takes" to get his woman back and who becomes literally a doormat.
If that is a metaphor for relationships in our times, I would say that these are pretty dark times. A realistic movie, perhaps, but certainly a depressing one.